Many manufacturers fear line reviews with big boxes like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They frequently see it as an event where they have more to lose than to gain.
My friend Mark Mitchell knows what they fear and has recommendations on how to approach the line review differently. He tells about his experiences in his blog and his book. Or click here to receive his monthly building materials sales and marketing newsletter.
If you’d like to learn more about successful big box line reviews. Read Mark’s original blog post here.
And it works. Here’s his follow up post A Line Review Success Story sharing the strategy and positive outcome of one of his clients.
What manufacturers fear going in to a line review
- Demands for even lower prices
- Fewer sku’s
- Having to fund promotional programs
- Worse placement
- A new competitor in the category
Most companies go into a line review with three simple goals
- Stay on shelf
- Defend their margin
- Grow their share of category sales
According to Mark Mitchell, here’s what you should do in a Home Depot or Lowe’s line review
- Grow a pair
- Think about the buyer and not just yourself
- Do your homework
- Paint them a picture
Don’t approach a line review as a chance to throw products at the buyer and see what sticks
I spoke to that point in my post 4 Essential Steps to Winning with Buyers in a Product Line Review.
You need to have a vision about how the big box will be more successful with you than without you. You need to bring that vision to life so the buyer can see it.
The goal is for the buyer to say, “That just makes sense.” Buyers are human beings and many times will make decisions based on their gut feeling. They will then use data to support their decision.
You want to show the buyer no one is more committed to their success than you as you continually bring them ideas to make them more successful.
The line review process is a validation step for the retailer
Remember they are ultimately confirming that they are offering “the right product, sold for the right price, at the right place and time.”
To be better prepared for a line review, check out my post Are You Ready For Your Product Line Review?
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